Press Releases

Crop Insurance Coalition Urges Lawmakers and Administration to Protect Crop Insurance Through Budget Process

WASHINGTON, DC (February 23, 2021) – Fifty-eight partners of the Crop Insurance Coalition, representing farmers, lenders, agricultural input providers, and conservation groups sent letters to key lawmakers and the Administration opposing cuts to crop insurance during the upcoming fiscal year 2022 budget process.

“Even in good years, farmers need access to a strong and secure Federal crop insurance program, a program that farmers have described time and again as a critical linchpin of the farm safety net.  The strength and predictability of the program is only more critical given the uncertainty that characterizes the production agriculture sector. USDA and Congress have taken extraordinary ad hoc measures over the past three years to ensure the financial security of rural America.  It would only serve to undercut these efforts to propose harmful changes to a crop insurance program that provides predictable, within-budget assistance to farmers in a way that helps lenders continue to support America’s farmers and ranchers. It is the certainty of the crop insurance program that provides critical reassurance to lenders,” the letter explains.

Please contact CIRB Federal Affairs Vice President Tara Smith at tsmith@torreydc.com with any questions.

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About CIRB:

Founded in 1964 and headquartered on Capitol Hill, the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) is proud to provide unparalleled advocacy, support, and membership services to the crop insurance and reinsurance community. Today, CIRB members provide a vital component of the farm safety net, writing policies in every state and providing billions of dollars in crop protection.  Learn more about us at www.cropinsurance.org.  To learn more about CIRB’s work, or to get involved, please contact CIRB staff.

CIRB Joins Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance

Washington, D.C. (February 22, 2021) – The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) today announced an expanded Steering Committee including the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB). Other Steering Committee members include: American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Seed Trade Association, American Sugar Alliance, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, Ducks Unlimited, Environmental Defense Fund, Farm Credit Council, FMI – The Food Industry Association, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Cotton Council, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Produce Marketing Association, and USA Rice Federation. A full list of FACA’s 43 members can be found at AgClimateAlliance.com.

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance consists of organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, agribusinesses, manufacturers, the food and innovation section, state government, sportsmen, and environmental advocates. These groups have broken through historical barriers to develop and promote shared climate policy priorities across agriculture, food, and forestry value chains.

“CIRB is proud to work with the others in FACA to ensure that crop insurance is a part of climate solutions for the future, while also ensuring that these solutions maintain the underlying integrity of the program and the principle of actuarial soundness,” noted Michael Torrey, Executive Vice President of CIRB.

The work of FACA will uphold three key principles:

  • Agricultural and forestry climate policies must be built upon voluntary, incentive-based programs and market-driven opportunities;
  • They must promote resilience and adaptation in rural communities; and
  • They must be science-based.

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About CIRB:

Founded in 1964 and headquartered on Capitol Hill, the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) is proud to provide unparalleled advocacy, support, and membership services to the crop insurance and reinsurance community. Today, CIRB members provide a vital component of the farm safety net, writing policies in every state and providing billions of dollars in crop protection.  Learn more about us at www.cropinsurance.org.  To learn more about CIRB’s work, or to get involved, please contact CIRB staff.

Crop Insurance Industry Awards Senate Ag Chairman with Lifetime Achievement Award

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau’s (CIRB) Chairman, Zane Vaughn of ARMtech, presented Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) with the crop insurance industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Chairman Roberts is considered to be the father of the modern crop insurance program and is the only Member of Congress to serve as Chairman of both House and Senate Agriculture Committees. He most recently worked to pass the 2018 Farm Bill with the largest vote count in history. CIRB’s Chairman presented the award during the 2020 CIRB Annual Meeting, in Bonita Springs, FL.

“Crop insurance is the anchor of the farm safety net, but it hasn’t always been that way.  Through Chairman Roberts’ vision, perseverance and endless wit and sense of humor, he drove a shift in farm policy that is almost unprecedented,” stated CIRB Chairman Zane Vaughn of ARMtech. “This industry, America’s farmers and ranchers, and others throughout rural America owe a great debt of gratitude to Chairman Roberts for his belief in a better system of risk management.”

“I’m honored to receive the crop insurance industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and I would be remiss if I did not dedicate it to the hard-working men and women who have always been there to remind me of the importance of the farmer’s risk management toolkit. Thank you for all you do—and will continue to do—for farmers, ranchers, growers, and rural communities,” said Roberts. “No matter where I travel across the country, the number one refrain I hear is, ‘protect crop insurance.’ That’s why I have made it a priority during my time in Congress, and I’m pleased that together we have fended off multiple attempts to cut and harm the program.”

For more information about CIRB’s Annual Meeting, including interviews and photos of the event, visit cropinsurance.org/events or contact Kerry Lynch at klynch@torreydc.com.

Crop Insurance Industry Responds to President’s Budget

Washington (February 10, 2020) – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Trump’s FY 2021 budget proposal which includes significant cuts to crop insurance. Click here to read a joint statement from the six crop insurance industry organizations in response to the proposal.

Crop Insurance Coalition Sends Letter Urging Administration to Protect Crop Insurance

WASHINGTON (December 13, 2019)– The Crop Insurance Coalition, led by the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB), sent a proactive letter of 57 national farm, lending, ag input, conservation, and insurance organizations to the Administration opposing cuts to crop insurance during the FY 2021 budget process.

The letter states:

“For good reason, the state of the agricultural economy has been the subject of numerous recent hearings, reports, and media coverage. Cash crop receipts have dropped more than $34 billion since 2012, and despite a recent bump in net farm income this year, net farm income is still down $44 billion from 2013 in inflation-adjusted dollars. Multiple years of hardship have taken their toll on farm families across the country. Farm debt has increased 55 percent over the last decade, and now stands at $415 billion. Moreover, inflation-adjusted farm debt is at a level just shy of the record set prior to the farm financial crash of the early 1980’s. More farms are struggling to service this debt and as a result, farm bankruptcies have increased 24 percent since just last year.

Given this picture of the agricultural economy, now is not the time to make cuts to crop insurance, a program that farmers have described time and again as a linchpin of the farm safety net. This Administration has gone the extra mile during these difficult times to provide much-needed aid to farmers suffering from unfair retaliatory tariffs from China through ad hoc assistance such as the Market Facilitation Program. It would undercut these efforts to then recommend cuts to a program such as crop insurance that provides predictable, on-budget assistance to farmers in a way that helps lenders continue to support America’s farmers and ranchers. No other piece of the farm safety net can provide this reassurance to lenders.”

Please contact CIRB Federal Affairs Vice President Tara Smith at tsmith@torreydc.com with any questions about the letter or the Crop Insurance Coalition.

CIRB Announces 5th Class of Emerging Leaders

Washington, D.C.- Today, the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) named 13 industry professionals to its 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) class. In its 5th year, this will be the largest class to date, with participants selected from CIRB’s membership. The program gives the opportunity for selected professionals to increase their knowledge of advocacy and communications while providing networking experiences with industry leaders.

“The development and growth of the ELP program is just one of the many ways CIRB is a leader for the industry in shaping crop insurance advocacy,” said Zane Vaughn, CIRB Chairman. “I encourage all industry professionals to take advantage of this unique experience which provides a well-rounded curriculum.”

The program, which officially kicks off in September, allows participants to experience multiple Executive Committee meetings, learn how to effectively advocate for the industry with “lobby 101” seminars in Washington and receive media training and social media guidance. New to the curriculum this year is a reinsurance webinar for participants to learn more about the history and functions within the reinsurance industry.

The 2019-2020 CIRB Emerging Leaders Program class includes:

  • Neely Phelps, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc
  • Jay Mark, ARMtech Insurance Services
  • Craig Conroy, COUNTRY Financial
  • Matthew Miller, COUNTRY Financial
  • David Stewart, Crop Risk Services
  • Cade Stockberger, Crop Risk Services
  • Zach Allsup, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa
  • Chad Simon, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa
  • Duane Hynes, Holborn
  • Jaya Hahn, Hudson Crop Insurance, Inc
  • Alexis Schroeder, Hudson Crop Insurance, Inc
  • Mat Brueggeman, Rural Community Insurance Services
  • Robert Rankin, Rural Community Insurance Services

You can learn more about the program and the new class at: cropinsurance.org/emerging-leaders-program/

CIRB and the Crop Insurance Industry Responds to President’s Budget

WASHINGTON (March 11, 2019)–The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal which includes significant cuts to crop insurance. The cuts this year total $25.83 billion over 10 years. Click here to read a joint statement from the six crop insurance industry organizations in response to the proposal.

Crop Insurance Coalition Sends Letters Urging Administration, Lawmakers to Protect Crop Insurance

WASHINGTON (February 19, 2019)– A group of around 60 national farm, lending, ag input, conservation, and crop insurance and reinsurance organizations, led by the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB), sent letters to the Administration and key lawmakers opposing cuts to crop insurance during the upcoming budget process.

“USDA has projected that 2018 farm profitability will be the lowest in over a decade, and farm income dropped more than 45% in five years. An overreliance on budget savings from the agriculture community and from crop insurance more specifically will undermine rural economies.  It’s also important to note that in a time of uncertainty in the farming and ranching community – from natural disasters to trade wars to government shutdowns – the public-private partnership that is crop insurance has been a consistent and reliable risk management tool.  The certainty of federal crop insurance also offers lenders the assurances they need to continue to provide capital to America’s hard-working farmers and ranchers,” the letters explain.

Please contact CIRB Federal Affairs Vice President Tara Smith at tsmith@torreydc.com with any questions about the letters or the Crop Insurance Coalition.

New Farm Bill with Strong Crop Insurance Becomes Law

WASHINGTON (December 20, 2018)—President Donald Trump today officially signed the 2018 Farm Bill, making the five-year bill a law.

The American Association of Crop Insurers, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, Crop Insurance Professionals Association, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, and National Crop Insurance Services issued the following joint statement in response:

It’s been a difficult year for farmers and ranchers from coast to coast, but rural America is ending 2018 on a high note with this farm bill. The new law keeps crop insurance affordable and widely available for agriculture, and it provides much-needed certainty heading into 2019.

President Trump and Secretary Sonny Perdue have been vocal supporters of agriculture, and they helped deliver in a big way for farmers and ranchers with this new law. Likewise, congressional leaders from both parties should be commended for their dedication in passing a bipartisan bill that provides the tools farmers need to manage their unique risks.

Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Congressmen Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) worked tirelessly throughout this farm bill process to make U.S. agriculture stronger. On behalf of the entire crop insurance industry and the customers we serve, thank you.

Crop insurance, which is delivered by the private sector, has become a key component of U.S. farm policy. Each year, farmers spend between $3.5 and $4 billion to purchase protection on the crops they grow, ensuring taxpayers are not shouldering all the risk. When disaster strikes, insurance aid is distributed quickly to help farmers pick up the pieces and plant again.

This year, 1.1 million crop insurance policies provided $106 billion in protection on more than 130 types of crops covering 311 million acres.

Efforts by farm policy critics to weaken agriculture’s primary risk management tool were soundly rejected by lawmakers, who heeded farmers’ advice to “do no harm to crop insurance.”

Click here to read more.

Crop Insurance Industry Statement on Release of Farm Bill Conference Report

The below statement was issued by the American Association of Crop Insurers (AACI), the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB), the Crop Insurance Professionals Association (CIPA), the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), and the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) following the release of the farm bill conference report:

“Farmers and ranchers have seen their fair share of challenges in 2018 – from hurricanes, drought and wildfires to depressed commodity prices. The farm bill conference committee took a huge step today in helping rural America cope with these challenges by releasing a bipartisan package. We urge Congress to pass the Farm Bill immediately.

The 2018 Farm Bill maintains a strong crop insurance system because lawmakers knew that agriculture’s top risk management tool would be needed during these difficult times. They ensured that private-sector crop insurance would remain affordable and widely available for producers despite attempts by opponents of crop insurance to weaken this critical component of the farm safety net.

We applaud the leaders and members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and the farm bill conferees, for crafting a comprehensive piece of legislation that has earned the backing of the agricultural community. We also thank our customers, who told lawmakers from Day 1 that protecting crop insurance was a top priority throughout this process.

Once Congress passes the new farm bill, we ask that the president quickly sign it into law, so America’s farmers and ranchers will have some certainty heading into the new year.”

Click here to read more.

Crop Insurance Emerging Leaders Announced

The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) named 10 industry professionals to its 2018-2019 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) class. The program increases participants’ knowledge of key policy issues and prepares them with the skills they need to be effective advocates for the crop insurance industry. All participants are employees of CIRB’s growing membership, which includes both crop insurance and reinsurance companies.

“The Emerging Leaders Program is an established curriculum that provides a great experience for professionals to learn how to tackle the challenges and opportunities facing federal crop insurance,” said Ron Rutledge, Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau Chairman. “CIRB has been leading the way with its advocacy and communications efforts in Washington, D.C. and it is essential to educate our rising leaders on best practices for the future.”

The 2018-2019 CIRB Emerging Leaders Program class includes: Chelsea Abrahamson, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Bryce Benson, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Kevin Boeckenstedt, Crop Risk Services, RJ Brinkmeyer, Farmers Mutual Hail, John Haldy, Guy Carpenter, Bret Keeler, ARMtech, Tracy Klever, Farmers Mutual Hail, Ryan Kramer, Farmers Mutual Hail, Cole Patrick, COUNTRY Financial, Amy Zeik, Rural Community Insurance Services.

Click here to read more. 

Crop Insurance Industry Statement on Senate Farm Bill Passage

The Senate farm bill was approved by a vote of 86-11. Notably, there were no votes on harmful crop insurance amendments, including Durbin-Grassley Amendment #3103, which would have imposed an AGI limit on crop insurance. Click here to read a joint statement from six crop insurance industry organizations in response.

#ProtectCropInsurance Campaign Receives Award

This week, CIRB’s work building the weekly #ProtectCropInsurance social media campaign was honored at the annual Agricultural Relations Council “Golden ARC” Awards. The campaign received first place in the social media tactic category. The #ProtectCropInsurance effort provides turnkey content for crop insurance allies to customize and share on social media. In 2017, CIRB created a total of 39 weekly toolkits that were shared with CIRB members and coalition partners, with a potential reach to 440,000+ Twitter users. The campaign to protect crop insurance in the farm bill continues – please contact Kerry Lynch to receive future toolkits.

Crop Insurance Industry Statement on Senate Farm Bill Introduction

The Senate Agriculture Committee introduced the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, other wise known as the farm bill. Click here to read a joint statement from six crop insurance industry organizations in response.

CIRB Applauds the Defeat of Devastating Crop Insurance Amendment

Today, the House of Representatives soundly defeated an amendment by a vote of 380-34 that would have devastated federal crop insurance and other critical components of the farm safety net. CIRB would like to thank those who voted to protect crop insurance in the farm bill.

Click here to read more.

Grassroots Petition Urges Congress to Protect Crop Insurance in the Farm Bill

This week 418 local, state and national organizations and individual companies signed on to a petition urging Congress to do no harm to the crop insurance program in the farm bill. This includes broad support from across the country, from Hawaii to Maine, representing everyone from farmers to lenders to conservation organizations to agricultural input providers. This petition was sent to the House of Representatives, as H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, heads to the House floor for a vote this week.

Click here to read more.

Crop Insurance Coalition Sends Letter to Members of Congress Asking to Oppose Harmful Crop Insurance Amendments

Approximately 65 organizations of the crop insurance coalition sent a letter to Members of Congress. The group asked Members to oppose harmful amendments to crop insurance specifically those that would reduce participation in crop insurance, make insurance more expensive for farmers during a time of economic downturn in agriculture, or harm private-sector delivery. “Given the importance of crop insurance, the undersigned organizations urge you to support America’s farmers, ranchers, rural economies and national security by opposing amendments that would harm crop insurance.” the letter explains. Click here to read the full letter.

Please contact CIRB Federal Affairs Vice President Tara Smith at tsmith@torreydc.com  with any questions about the letter or the crop insurance coalition.

Crop Insurance Industry Responds to House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill  

The House Agriculture Committee introduced the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, otherwise known as the farm bill. Click here to read a joint statement from six crop insurance industry organizations in response to the draft bill.

Crop Insurance Industry Responds to President’s Budget

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Trump’s FY 2019 budget proposal which includes $26 billion in cuts to crop insurance over ten years. Click here to read a joint statement from six crop insurance industry organizations in response to the proposal.

Unified Industry Ready to Meet Future Challenges

More than 135 crop insurance leaders gathered for the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau’s 2018 Annual Meeting, which ended Friday in Scottsdale, AZ. During the program, expert speakers provided a glimpse ahead at the upcoming farm bill debate.

“It is going to take everyone who cares about crop insurance working together for us to succeed in protecting the program during the 2018 Farm Bill,” said current CIRB Chair Ron Rutledge of Farmers Mutual Hail.

Click here to read more.


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